(See Indian Derby video below—SHF) By Maj. Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.)—The 20 to 1 outsider Super Storm (Rebuttal – Cielo Vodkamartini), ridden by Jimmy Fortune, trained by Satish Narredu and bred at Hazara Stud, grabbed the lead inside the final furlong and lasted out determinedly to beat the favorite Wind Stream, Hemisphere, and the Indian 2000 Guineas, Gr.1 winner Machiavellianism in fairly close finish and pocketed the winner’s purse of approximately US $ 340,000 in the McDowell Signature Premier Indian Derby at Mahalakshmi today. The verdict was 1 1/4, Shd, and 1 1/4 and the winner returned 2.31.83 on the clock. Super Storm ran in the colors of the trainer’s son Rajesh Narredu. The other three partners in the colt are M/s. R. Anantha Cham Dev Raju, R. Cham Dev Raju, and Mrs. R. Rajamma. Some years ago, Mrs. R. Rajamma used to sell the Tote tickets at the Bangalore Race Course; Super Storm is first horse owned by her and she must be thinking that racing is a wonderland.
Super Storm had won the Mysore 2000 Guineas, Gr.3 last August. Eight days ago, Super Storm was beaten a length and a half as the favorite in the Kimmane Bangalore Derby, Gr.1 by his old stud-mate Red Baron. Undeterred, Satish Narredu rushed the colt to Mumbai and engaged Jimmy Fortune to ride his ward. The Indian Derby had a field of 17 runners which did not include his conqueror Red Baron. Wind Stream was the favorite at 6/1 with Machiavellianism, the Eveready Calcutta Derby, Gr.1 winner Snowscape and Shivalik Hero at 13/2, and An Acquired Taste, the winner of the Ruia — traditional lead-up race for the Derby — at 8/1. Pacemakers of An Acquired Taste and Hemisphere cut the early pace while Super Storm and Machiavellianism held handy positions not far behind. Machiavellianism was the first to make his move after entering straight but he was passed after a brief set-to by Super Storm, who strode on gallantly to ward off Wind Stream — drawn 17 — and Hemisphere. Two races before the Derby, Sophisticated, running off a lowly mark of 28, had a won a race over the same distance in a time of 2.32.11. Sophisticated, also a four year-old, would have finished fourth had he run in the Derby on that comparison!
Satish Narredu is a former jockey who had ridden over a 1000 winners in his riding days. He was astride the 1996 McDowell Indian Derby, Gr.1 winner Amazing Bay so he emulated Pesi Shroff who before today held the distinction of being the only one to have ridden and trained an Indian Derby winner. His younger brother Mallesh, like him an Indian Derby winning jockey, is also a trainer now and he had two runners in the field.
Just last week, Hazara Stud had provided the winners of the Derbys at Bangalore at Hyderabad so Super Storm’s victory completed a glorious hat-trick. The Indian Derby, of course, is the most prestigious of them all but what would have made it doubly sweet is that the winner is sired by the Mr. Greeley horse Rebuttal who stands at Hazara. (The other two Derby winners were imported ‘in utero’). Rebuttal gets winners aplenty and Super Storm is the second son of his to win a Classic over 2400 m. Rebuttal himself never won beyond a mile in his brief career in England and U.S.A. Super Storm’s dam is by the Belmont Stakes winner Conquistador Cielo and a winner of three races in U.S.A. The next dam is a Northern Baby half-sister to the star miler Lahib. This is the family of Al Bahathri, Haafhd, Munir, General Holme and others.
It was the first taste of Derby success for the trainer, the owners and the stud farm. Jimmy Fortune, who was also aboard the next richest race in the undercard, has earlier ridden one winner of the Indian Derby. Super Storm now heads for Calcutta where this year’s Indian Turf Invitation Cup is scheduled to be held. This race was restricted to four year-olds but has been opened to older horses now. There, he could come up against two stalwarts from his sires first crop — Dandified and Toroloco — though the first named may opt to run in the Super Mile.